If McGuyver was locked in an airport terminal and had to fight his way out, we’re pretty sure this is exactly the type of stuff he’d think up.
Computer programmer and backyard security researcher Evan Booth has developed an entire arsenal of functional weapons using nothing more than junk purchased from airport terminals – stuff everyone has access to after passing through TSA security checkpoints.
Some of Booth’s earlier designs are definitely on the primitive side, like a crossbow made from umbrella ribs, or a spiked club made from rolled up magazines and a Washington Monument magnet. But some of his newer creations are mind-blowingly advanced, like a coffee cup frag grenade, or a frighteningly effective shotgun made from little more than rolled up magazines, some batteries, a can of Axe body spray, a condom filled with water, and a dissected soda can. In the video below, Booth successfully blasts a fistful of change trough a sheet of drywall.
The key to this design is lithium batteries. When combined with water, they create a chemical reaction with enough heat to explode a bottle of Axe body spray.
The point of all this is to demonstrate that the TSA’s security measures are more of a spectacle than real protection. In an interview with Fast Company, Booth explains that he started working on the project shortly after the TSA began using full-body scanners to screen passengers. “It just seemed so invasive, and really expensive,” he says. “And if you’re going to go through all that trouble getting into the terminal, why is all this stuff available in the terminal?”
“I think people have kind of been suspecting that the type of things I’ve built are possible,” added Booth. “I just don’t think anyone’s ever taken the time to do it.”
Now, before you go call the TSA or the FBI, you should know that Booth’s already been in contact with them. Apparently he’s been sending both agencies reports before he posts his videos online. Surprisingly, the TSA hasn’t shown any interest in what he’s doing, but the FBI did stop by his house for an unannounced visit. “That was really the first time that I knew someone had looked over the material and put together a report on their end,” he says. “That was encouraging.” According to Booth, the agents’ questions were focused on on whether he had actually assembled any weapons at the airport, which he definitely had not. All of his McGuyvering takes place in his backyard in North Carolina.
Being the resourceful and clever guy he clearly is, Booth used the visit as an opportunity to ask for research funding, but was told there wasn’t any available. Regardless, he plans to continue his work as a freelancer, and is reportedly working on designs for a low-tech stun gun.
You can check out the rest of Booth’s hilariously-named weapons on his website TerminalCornucopia.com. Our favorite is the Liberty Chucks, a set of nunchucks made from rolled up magazines and a pair of Statue of Liberty figurines.
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